HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 54 no. 1 (2008)

The Way to Freedom: American Escapees in the Philippines

Violeta S. Ignacio

Discipline: History



The order to surrender immediately followed the fall of Bataan and Corregidor, but a number of American officers admonished their men to use their better judgment and decide for themselves whether to surrender or evade capture by hiding in the mountains and continue fighting or taking a boat to Australia. In other words, they were on their own. Despite these hints to escape, the majority obeyed the order to surrender while others surrendered and later escaped, preferring to try their luck than die a captive. Escapes occurred in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. They employed different methods requiring ingenuity, meticulous planning, and a lot of wisdom, courage and determination.